Reports & Research
Male student in front of two female students

PA Youth Survey

Every two years, the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania conducts a youth survey of 6th, 8th, 10th, and 12th grade students to gauge their knowledge of and attitude towards drugs and alcohol. The results of this survey alert authorities to any changing patterns in the use of these substances. The survey also provides officials with much-needed information concerning the prevention of these behaviors.

This study shows that Pennsylvania students use alcohol more than any other drug, nearly twice as much as tobacco. In fact, Pennsylvania students’ reported use of alcohol over their lifetime is anywhere from 7-11% higher than the national average. With regard to high-risk drinking (five or more drinks in a row), Pennsylvania’s 12th graders show an occurrence rate higher than the national average. One good sign from the survey is that usage among 6th graders has dropped slightly over the years. See the table listed below for more information on these usage rates.


 

  Lifetime Past 30 Days Binge Drinking

 

2001 2003 2005 2001 2003 2005 2001 2003 2005
Grade                  

6th

8th

10th

12th

32.3

57.4

75.8

83.8

28.7

56.7

76.4

83.6

23.5

52.9

74.8

85.0

4.8

17.4

36.4

48.5

4.1

17.0

37.9

49.2

2.6

14.5

36.5

53.7

2.4

8.6

20.9

31.2

1.5

8.8

21.5

31.4

1.0

6.7

19.6

33.7

Gender                  

Female

Male

61.6

61.5

60.9

60.4

58.6

59.1

25.3

26.3

26.0

26.4

25.6

27.1

13.5

16.6

14.6

16.1

13.7

16.0

Ethnicity                  

African American

White

46.9

63.2

48.7

61.4

41.4

60.1

17.2

26.9

16.9

26.7

14.4

27.1

11.3

15.4

11.5

15.5

8.7

15.4

Region                  

1 - NW

2 - NC

3 - NE

4 - SW

5 - SC

6 - SE

64.7

57.7

63.7

67.7

61.8

58.3

62.3

61.7

62.0

63.3

58.1

58.9

62.6

59.5

52.7

67.7

54.6

57.8

29.1

25.0

27.8

30.3

23.9

23.8

26.7

25.8

28.5

29.7

22.7

24.6

27.3

27.1

19.5

35.5

20.4

27.5

18.5

12.6

17.5

18.7

13.4

13.6

16.3

14.9

17.0

18.5

13.5

13.5

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Note: Binge drinking is defined as five or more drinks in a row in the past two weeks.